About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Photo share: Females are the best construction workers

There is a lot of activity in the yard right now. There is construction going on in every corner. Chickadees, titmice, woodpeckers, sparrows, starlings, doves, robins, and even the squirrels have either built nests or building nests right now.
Male House Sparrow with an offering of construction material for the nest
The female builds the nest alone but sometimes there is “help” from the male. In the cases where there is a pair bonding for the breeding season, I watch the male birds offer sticks and grasses they find to the females. Nine times out of ten it seems like the female refuses the male's entrance into the house or pulls what he’s found out of the nest. It’s like the female is disgusted and can’t believe what her mate wants to incorporate into the nest.

I saw a female bringing in lovely scented ginger leaves and nice soft materials while the male tried to bring in a long hard twig. Rejection, rejection... "how about viburnum leaves, my dear?" Finally, approval!
This female American Robin knew exactly what she wanted to build the best nest
Most excited males are eager to please and continue to present their nesting material to their female. The American Robin couple I watched seemed to have their relationship figured out. He mainly stayed out of the way of his mate. Perched above the nest, he was singing a happy song while she worked busily fashioning the best nest.

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